How do you know you’re getting the most out of your workouts? What is the BEST way to make sure you’re avoiding common mistakes? I hope to help answer all of those for you in this post. I’ve come up with 10 tips that I find most helpful in making sure my workouts COUNT!
This is by far one of the biggest mistakes that people tend to make. Everyones foot is different and different workouts require different shoes. Often times brands will clarify whether a shoes is for “training” aka gym workouts/weightlifting, running, crossfit, cycling, etc. so make sure you’re paying attention to those indicators. Making sure the shoe offers the right support your foot is vital too and is often a spot that gets neglected or overlooked when considering the proper fit of a shoe. Having the wrong shoe for the workout you’re doing with a fit that is all wrong can lead to higher chance of injuries in your ankles and knees.
2. Wearing the Wrong Clothes
This one seems a little silly but there is a reason that most athletic wear has fancy names like “dri fit”, “tech loom”, etc.. It helps evaporate sweat faster than cotton does. Also, making sure to wear clothing that is not super baggy can help make sure you’re not getting your clothes stuck in weights and that you can have proper range of motion. Again, sounds simple enough but leggings, tanks tops, and more form fitting workout clothes allow for better movement. Also, I’ve found the cuter the clothes the more motivated I am to workout, feeling good often leads to sticking with it.
3. Don’t Push Too Hard
Especially if you’ve taken a break recently for whatever reason you need to be mindful that you may not be at the same level of fitness you were before you’re break. This holds especially true postpartum, even if you stayed active throughout your pregnancy you lose a lot of the endurance and strength you once had. This was something that truly shocked me after hacing Nicholas and I found equally as frustrating after having Emilia. Make sure after any break that you ease your way back to where you were before. You don’t want to injure yourself and then end up needing to take an even longer break.
Everyone knows that you need to stay hydrated, but rarely is anyone actually drinking enough water. So, how do I know how much water I need to drink? There are two ways:
One: you can weigh yourself before and after your workout, the difference in weight is how much water you should drink aka how much water you lost. (16 oz=1 pound)
Two: as a daily practice you can take your weight and drink half of it in ounces, so if you weigh 160 pounds your goal should be to drink 80 oz per day.
5. Timed Nutrition
One of the meal plans I offer my clients comes with a detailed time schedule to help you get the right nutrients before and after your workouts and throughout your day to maintain your energy based on when you workout and to elicit the best possible results. The most important portion of this concept is the workout window. You want to be sure you’re eating a meal about 60-90 minutes before your workout. Something with protein, veggies, and a simple carbohydrate to easily digest and give you energy to fuel your workout. About an hour after your workout you want to do a similar meal. Right after your workout you should restore your glycogen stores by having a fruit and protein of some sort. My favorite is THIS recovery shake that helps reduce DOMS and tasts just like chocolate milk.
6. Nutrition IS Important
You can not, and I mean it, can NOT outwork a poor diet.
Simply put you can work your ass off in your workouts and if you go home and eat McDonalds, pizza, and ice cream all day you will not see any of those results shine through. Think of it this way: your workout builds and shapes your body while you diet reveals the work you’ve done. HERE is the nutrition course that is available to all of my clients.
7. Work Your WHOLE Body
So many people focus on just what you can see or better yet, upper body only. So many people equate being fit to having toned arms and abs. These days you see more and more that women want to build a booty too, but you can not build a nice butt without also building your hamstrings and working your quads. You want abs? You need to make sure you entire core is strong. This means having a healthy strong pelvic floor and a strong back. Those tank top arms you’re dying to have? You need to also work your shoulders, they’re actually where the nice shape in your arm will come from.
The real tip here is just to make sure you aren’t neglecting any body parts.
8. Warm Up and Cool Down
I know. I have a hard time making sure I don’t skip this part of the workout too, but it really is so key in making sure your performance isn’t compromised. The warm up also reduces risk of injury since you’ve gotten some blood flow to your muscles and your joints going through the movements. The cool down is equally important in speeding up recovery and bring down your heart rate in a more efficient manner.
9. Take Rest or Recovery Days
Your body needs time to recover. So you need to give your body a break. I seriously recommend only working out 4-6 days a week and if you are doing six workouts a week one of those should be a lower impact recovery style workout. On your days off though don’t just slack off and do nothing. I like to call these active rest days, so you still get out and do something or do some yoga, pilates, or stretching to make sure you’re still moving your body. Remember this is a lifestyle and being active daily is so important for your overall health, but you can’t go 110% all the time so have planned recovery days in your routine and you’ll be golden.
10. Change Things Up
Finding a routine you love doing can be hard, so when you find the perfect combo of exercises it can be so tempting to just always do the same thing. Beware though as this can lead to plateaus as your body needs you to be constantly challenging it. Now, there is no such thing as needing to “trick” your body to make sure you still see results but you do need to make changes to your routine to make sure you’re still making progress. How do you do that? You can make variations to the exercises aka there a about a dozen ways you can do bicep curls, tricep extensions, squats, and yes even lunges so make sure to keep that extra variety in. Change up VOLUME of your workouts. So this can be as simple as doing 4 sets of 10 instead of 3 or doing 3 sets of 15 reps instead of the traditional 10 reps. You can do drop sets, use resistance bands instead of free weights, you can use cables, etc. there are so many ways you can take the same routine and switch it up just enough to make sure you’re still making progress in strength and ensuring you SEE the results you want.
BONUS TIP: Have a Plan With a Purpose
So many people just get into working out and their programming doesn’t actually support any end goal. Muscle groups can easily be neglected, progress can easily be stagnated, and this can often lead to frustration. Having a program that was designed with a purpose can help you reach your goals on a level you never knew could happen before. Having exercises build on themselves throughout helps with the change-up in your routine to ensure you’re getting the most out of it too.
If you need help with getting a routine that is built with an end game in mind fill out this application HERE and we can chat about your goals.